Author: M. Erik
Summary: Erik is ill; he speaks to his friend, Nadir (the Persian) about his beloved.
Based off of: Well take a little GL a little SK and quite a bit of ALW POTO the movie! Only a true phan will understand that sentence.
Author's Note: I have recently fallen for a girl who is a few years younger than I. She is very much like the character of Christine, so I am channeling all my romantic energy into writing. I like to think I am a conduit for Erik's ghost, so bear with us. This is basically a way to put all the ideas, which are floating around my head on paper. Or rather on gigabytes…
"She's really a sweet girl, my Christine. She never meant to hurt me. Of that I am certain. I am not exactly a normal man, nor easy to get along with. I have a terrible temper, a destructiveness that turns all but the bravest away. And my Christine is not exactly the bravest of women. But I love her all the same. She is utterly incapable of doing any harm to anyone. Her sweetness and shy nature have brought me back from the depths and allowed me to rejoin the living world. And her kiss! Oh, such sweetness! Such ambivalent feelings that ran through me at that moment… I was so angry… and at the same time… so much in love. Love is a confusing thing, is it not Nadir?"
At this point, the Phantom shifted his position on the couch, turning to face his oldest and only friend.
"I am dying Daroga. Can you not see that?"
Erik clutched his chest for a moment, trying to gather the strength to continue.
"If I had all the money in the world, I would give it to her… But alas! I have nothing left… they took my home from me, destroyed my music, even stole my remaining money. Mankind is a terrible thing, Nadir, especially those residing in the Opera Populaire."
The Phantom coughed violently, his friend put out a hand to steady him.
"I tell a lie, Daroga. They are not all terrible… My dear Mme Giry and her precious daughter, Meg, are two of the only people who have shown me compassion in my abhorrently long life. And you, my dear friend. You saw me as a human being when all others called me 'Monster'."
The Persian looked into his old friend's bare face, unfazed by the scars, which marred the right side of the musician's face.
"Erik, perhaps you should rest. You are unwell." The Daroga said in heavily accented French.
"I tell you I am dying. Dying, and I couldn't be happier! Dying of happiness… Who would have thought is possible!" the Phantom laughed a bitter, distant laugh.
Nadir felt his eyes filling with tears. It was positively intolerable to see Erik in this bad of shape.
"Come Erik. I insist that you rest now. I will not allow you to endanger yourself further by going back into the cold. I know very well that you have no place to go. You will stay here."
Nadir slipped an arm around his old friend's back, helping the taller man off of the sofa and leading him into a guest bedroom.
"This seems decidedly familiar, Daroga…" quipped the Phantom as his friend helped him out of his coat and waistcoat.
The Persian smiled through his tears, marveling at Erik's unusual sense of humor.
"Rest now, my friend. I have errands to run. I expect you to stay here until I give you permission to leave. Do you hear me?" Nadir order jokingly.
Half asleep, the Phantom made an indistinct reply, his head falling to the side in sleep.
"Sleep well, mon ami…"
Taking one last glance at Erik to ensure that the Phantom was actually asleep, Nadir set out on his singular errand: To seek out Christine Daaé.
Mme Christine Daaé was not a difficult person to find. Contrary to popular belief, she had no eloped with her handsome Vicomte, nor had she disembarked from the Paris Opera House.
She was still in the employ of Messer's André and Firman as the leading soprano. Nadir found her onstage, rehearsing with the chorus for the thatre's production of Gounoud's "Faust".
Nadir stood in the darkened wings, watching the beautiful soprano signing the final aria.
"Very good Mme Daaé. Please, do take a break. I believe our dancers have to rehearse for the next scene." M Reyuer said, nodding to her from the orchestra pit.
"Merci, Maestro." Christine said, curtsying respectfully before she walked off the stage.
She almost walked past Nadir, then suddenly recognized him. Fear flashed in her eyes.
"What is it! What do you want?" she breathed.
Nadir bowed politely, motioning for her to follow him.
"If you please Mme. I would like to speak with you in private."
"Why? What do you want with me?" she asked cautiously.
"It has to do with… Your Angel of Music."
Her head jerked up in shock.
"Erik? What about him?"
Again, Nadir motion for her to follow him. This time she obliged him and followed him into the deserted hall leading to the dressing rooms. She put a hand on his arm and leaned in confidingly.
"Do you know where he is? Is he alright?" she breathed, scarcely able to form a coherent sentence.
The Persian bit his lip, unsure of how to explain.
"Madame Daaé… I find this difficult to explain… Without alarming you… or indeed offending you. I know not how-far your relationship with my dear friend progressed…"
"Please, where is he?'
"At the moment he is resting at my flat. Mme Daaé, I will not lie to you. He is very ill. Very ill indeed… I find it a miracle he managed to make it to my home. I do not know where he has been hiding these past few weeks… Please, will you come with me? He speaks of nothing else but you."
A moment of indecision flashed across Christine's face.
"I assure you Mme. He is incapable of harming you, if that is what you are afraid of."
"Not at all. Of course I will accompany you. Allow me a few minutes to make my apologies to M Reyuer and to gather my cloak I will meet you in the lobby." She said, her face softening as she saw evidence of the Persian's sorrow, glistening on his cheeks.
The carriage ride to the home of the Persian's flat was silent, each contemplating the sad situation they found themselves in.
An eternity seemed to pass before the brougham finally slowed to a halt outside the Persian's home. Nadir stepped out first, helping Christine down from the carriage. He handed the driver a few coins in payment and led the way inside his house.
"Welcome home sir." Darius said as Nadir stepped inside, brushing snow from his coat.
"Oh hello Darius. This is Mme Daaé. Mme Daaé, allow me to present my personal servant Darius."
"Pleased to meet you." the tall, muscular Indian said politely. "If you please sir, your… guest…" he cut himself off when he noticed Christine, standing timidly behind his master.
"Miss Daaé is a friend of our guest's. You needn't hide anything. How is he?" Nadir asked, dreading the answer.
Darius' solemn face held the answer.
"Miss Daaé, if you will allow me a few minutes to speak with him. Please, make yourself at home. Would you like a cup of tea?"
Christine shook her head.
"Very well. I'll only be a minute." Nadir assured her, shedding his jacket and unbuttoning his waistcoat for comfort.
The Daroga quietly walked into the guest room. Erik was still asleep, his face white and his forehead sweaty. Nadir shook his friend's shoulder gently. He stirred and blinked his eyes, adjusting to the light.
"Nadir?" the Phantom inquired, his voice hoarse. "What are you-"
"I've brought you a visitor. Perhaps you might find the strength to live…" he trailed off.
"Nadir? Please tell me you did not-" Erik said in a panicked voice.
"Mme Daaé, if you please." he called.
Very shyly, Christine tiptoed into the darkened room. Erik shot his friend a betrayed look, desperately straightening his clothes, trying to make himself look a little less disheveled. The young ingénue stepped closer to the bed. Nadir stood up allowing the young woman to take his place at the Phantom's bedside. Silently, the Daroga slipped away, closing the door behind him.
They sat in silence for a while, the only sound was Erik's labored breathing, and Christine's occasional sobbing intake of breath. Minutes ticked by before either got up the courage to speak. The first to speak was Christine.
"How are you?" she asked.
The question seemed absurd and hung there, tainting to air with its ignorance.
"Fine." he replied.
When Christine finally got up the nerve to look at him, she found that this was obviously not true. His eyes very bloodshot and sunken in, his already slender body emaciated under an ill-fitting shirt, in short, he resembled Death Himself. Christine took one bony, long fingered hand in her own, stroking it with her thumb.
"You lie." she whispered.
"Yes. But that's hardly the point, is it?" he sighed, exasperated.
"You're sick. Why haven't you seen a doctor yet?" she asked, her voice quavering.
"It's not of your affair." he said bitingly. "Why should you care?"
"Why should I care? Oh mon ange! If you do not realize why already, I have truly failed you…" she said, trying desperately not to cry.
Erik, tired and sick, let himself sink back against the pillows, closing his eyes against reality.
"No, it is I who have failed you. You needed a father, I gave you a monster."
All of his life's bitterness filled that last word, Christine brought his hand to her lips, he felt her hot tears falling on his cold flesh.
"No Erik. You are no monster. If you had only told me about your face when you first brought me to your home, I would have-"
"What? Screamed less loudly? Not come at all? I am tired Christine. Soon my body will match my face. It will be dead." he said, completely and utterly defeated.
She threw herself on him, clutching him to her and letting her tears rain down on his chest.
"No Erik! I won't allow it. I can't! I need you! I love you!" she sobbed. "I have thought of nothing else but you since you made me leave with Raoul. I missed you so much it was all I could do not to cry. Don't you dare die and leave me alone." she ranted.
Erik stared at her in shock. Sobs racked her body as she held onto him for dear life. She lifted her face and gazed into his eyes lovingly.
"Christine…" he murmured.
The young soprano silenced her maestro with a kiss. Lips and hands pressed together as if afraid to part. When they finally did separate, Christine rested her forehead against that of her dark Angel. She lay a hand against his scarred cheek, caressing him and learning their shape. She looked up into his mismatched eyes and spoke.
"You must live. I have so much I want to give you. So much you deserve… If you die now, I will die as well." she breathed.
Malformed lips twisted into a smile, one large hand came up to cup her chin.
"I will live, if only for you, my precious Angel." he replied.
She laughed joyfully, kissing him again, then resting her head against his chest. The comforting beat of his heart lulling him to sleep.
Many hours later, Nadir allowed himself a peek into the guest room. He smiled at the sight; which met his eyes. Erik held Christine in a warm embrace, her head nestled against his shoulder and her hand resting on his gently rising and falling chest. Nadir smiled again to himself, glad that his friend finally had a reason to go on living.
Comforted, he sat down in a chair by the fire with a brandy and the paper. No doubt there would be a wedding announcement in the paper soon. And he would most probably be the one placing it. All was right with the world now.
I couldn't care less if you didn't like that fanfic. I just needed to get some romantic crap off my chest. After all, everyone deserves a happy ending don't they? Even our poor Phantom. Wait a moment… that's me… oh bugger. Please review. I'd really appreciate it.
Special thanks to: Gerry Butler for doing a shockingly good job at playing our beloved Phantom, even though he's a Scottish bloke! Good job Gerry! Emmy Rossum for having an amazing voice for such a small person. Michael Crawford for setting such a high standard. My sisters Grace and Cassandra for making me crazy enough to write. And my potential Girlfriend, for holding my hand when we went to see POTO for the fifth time! Thanks everyone!